Have you ever tried to read the whole Bible in a year and failed miserably within a month or two? Did you have a zeal or resolution to devour all of Scripture only to come up short and leave you frustrated? Why does this keep happening? What can’t you stick with it? If I am describing you, let me propose to you a new plan. Let’s read the Bible TOGETHER this time. This way, we can have some accountability. This way, we can have some meaningful interaction about what the Bible seems to be saying. This way, we can be intentional/thoughtful/shrewd about how to approach Bible reading. This way, we can ENJOY reading the Bible rather than seeing it as a task or duty.
On that note, I would like to get the whole church, or as many of us as possible, reading the Bible together, roughly the same chapters at the same time. I would like us to begin next Monday, December 1st (what’s the point in starting on January 1st, thus having it fail like every other New Year’s resolution?). My idea is to have us read 10 chapters a day, 5 days a week (use the off days to catch up, take a break, or go deeper in study). The reason behind that frequency is to finish the plan in a year while reading at a healthy pace.
This plan I have chosen is NOT a “chronological plan” for reading the Bible in a year. Instead, it is a comprehensive plan to divide Scripture into 10 different sections, reading a chapter a day from each section. This way, we won’t get bogged down and frustrated in books like Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers or Jeremiah. Check out the full rationale behind the plan here. Also, here’s a monthly chart you can use to track your progress. To aid in our success, I also suggest that you use a particular Bible, especially if you get distracted (slowed down) by study notes, footnotes, and cross references. Of course, you can use whatever Bible you already have/like, but if you think it might help you stick with it, I suggest the ESV Reader’s Bible. That’s the version of God’s Word I’ll be using myself (and there’s also a Kindle version). The point of this plan is to read quickly, not to get bogged down with study details. If you are reading at a healthy pace, this should take somewhere between 30-40 minutes a day (roughly 3 hours per week), depending on chapter lengths. Note: If “reading” 10 chapters a day sounds daunting to you, you might consider listening to it read to you. The Bible app can read you the ESV translation, and it can also follow along with this particular reading plan. You can redeem your time in the car or using earphones while getting things done around the house. The point is, you’ve gotta eat!
***Some nerdy notes about this plan… by the end of 2015, if we stick with the plan, we’ll have read the Gospels 3x each, the New Testament letters over 3x each, Proverbs 9x through, and Acts 10x through!
In order to provide us a venue for interaction, I have established a Facebook group. Please feel free to join this group and invite others to do so, even if they are not part of our church. In this group, we can share our thoughts, observations, questions, motivational comments, or whatever else is relevant for us to read the Bible together. Personally, I will contribute some reflection questions to consider as we read through the text together. I will try to provide these questions at least once a week.
My hope for this Bible reading group is that we will SAVOR Jesus together. In order to savor Jesus, we have to taste and see that He is good (Ps 34:8). What better way could there be to taste than to read His story? Does that sound good to you? Are you in?